(Hebrews 10:28-31; Luke 16:23-25; Matthew 25:41,46; Mark 9:47,48; Jude 7; Revelation 21:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:10,14)
Lesson 4 -- fourth quarter 1997
September 28, 1997
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications
Do you think that a single "little" sin, unconfessed, would doom someone to eternal death in the lake of fire? You doubt it? Then you seem to recognize the possibility that such might be the way judgment will work. On the other hand, you might be positively certain that God will not be that strict. If that is the case in your mind, on what basis are you so certain?
Maybe you wonder what my answer is to the first question. Well, as I consider all the possible answers, I have almost-immediate questions. And since this isn't for forum to address all these, I'm dropping the subject. "Then why did you raise it in the first place?!"
You needn't live in fear and insecurity. I do not believe in unconditional eternal security; I believe the redeemed can indeed slip back and be damned for ever. But I do not believe that the lot of the Christian is to live in constant fear of losing his salvation. I do not think God wants us to be insecure until we finally reach Heaven. I believe in conditional eternal security. The assurance of Scripture is clear: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:18). What does this have to do with the subject at hand? "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments" (2 John 1:6). Do you see the relationship?! LOVE = OBEDIENCE = SECURITY
Consider the seriousness of all sin. All sin is an assault on the character of God. Therefore, all sin is a threat to our standing before God and to our eternal bliss. You would think these facts would make us less inclined to excuse, justify and explain away even the smallest sin. You would think. Since all sin is so serious, we should be quick to repent of and apologize for our failures. Were you unkind to a sibling? Did you shirk a responsibility? Did you dishonor your parents? Did you sass someone in authority? Did you mock someone? Did you mislead someone? We could all think of plenty of questions of this nature. And if our answer to any is positive, then let's go to the offended person and apologize. There are some people from whom I don't ever recall hearing a heartfelt apology. Perhaps they are perfect; perhaps I just never heard them at the right time. Since I know the former to be untrue, I hope the latter is. But what about me...and you?!
Why take any chances? So you don't know for certain whether or not a single "little" sin, unconfessed, would doom someone to eternal death in the lake of fire. Then common sense would tell you, "Play it safe!" Why be so stubborn and proud that you refuse to apologize to someone for "such a little thing"? Maybe the better question is, "Why be so foolish?" Is there ever a price too high to pay for peace with God?
Now I have another question. What price will you pay for comfort in this life? No, I don't mean how many rubles, dollars, pesos or pounds you'd turn lose so that you might have things that enhance your comfort. I mean, are you willing to exchange eternal comfort for temporal comfort? The rich man in today's lesson was. I do not believe he was condemned for his wealth and comfort, but rather, by them. I think his condemnation came as a result of a decision on his part to value the temporal more than the eternal. We ought to be challenged again to use material things to lay up treasures and comforts in heaven...not on earth. Those who do otherwise miss the greatest bargain of all time!
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